The Implementor Marketing Personality: Old Reliable
by Chelsea Taele • October 13, 2020
When it comes to online marketing, most marketers typically have one of four personality types. You’re either an Initiator, an Implementor, a Driver or a Refiner. Now, every person is unique, so most of us have some qualities from every type, but your dominant personality type is the driving force behind how you approach marketing.
It’s important to understand your marketing personality type and the types of those around you, because every marketing type has its strengths and weaknesses. A job that’s perfect for an Implementor might drive an Initiator crazy, and expecting a Driver to prioritize the same things as a Refiner is a good way to create a lot of frustration.
On the other hand, when you understand your marketing personality type (and the types of your coworkers), you can play to your strengths, deliver great results and bring out the full potential of your team.
So, to help you do that, let’s take a close look at the Implementor marketing personality type. What are Implementors like? What motivates them? What sort of role do they play in marketing? Let’s find out.
The Implementor Marketing Personality Type
Implementors are one of the less well-understood marketing personality types. While there are certainly plenty of Initiators out, they don’t always fit the classic marketer stereotype. However, while they don’t thrive in the spotlight the way that Initiators or Drivers do, they are the key to one of the most important parts of successful marketing: consistent, reliable execution.
Since Implementors don’t fit the standard marketing mold, other types (and Implementors themselves) often don’t quite understand what Implementors bring to the table or how to set them up for success. To help with that, let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Implementor marketing personality type.
As marketers, Implementors understand the power of slow and steady progress. They might not always be the ones coming up with new ideas or pushing things to the next level, but they are the ones behind the scenes turning exciting dreams into profitable realities.
In addition to their reliable natures, most Implementors have a deep understanding of what makes people tick. They tend to be on the quiet side, but that’s because they are careful observers. They notice details—especially in terms of social behavior—and have a great feel for what motivates people.
These traits make Implementors wonderfully well-equipped for marketing. Stereotypical marketing personality types like the Initiator or the Driver often have a hard time with the time-consuming, but oh-so-important details and long-term consistency that go into successful marketing.
Implementors, on the other hand, “get” their audience and have the patience and attention to detail necessary to build sustainable campaigns that reach their target customers for weeks, months and years to come.
Part of what makes Implementors so effective is their ability to commit and see things through. They don’t spend their time thinking about the possibilities or shiny new ways to get the jump on the competition. That makes them great at implementing ideas, but can often limit their ability to think outside the box.
This is why we call this personality type “Implementors”. They might not be the ones to get the ball rolling, but they’ll be there keeping things moving long after other personality types have moved on.
Now, that’s not to say that Implementors aren’t creative. They think deeply about things and often come up with clever solutions for difficult problems—especially when those problems are part of a long-term process the Implementor has been working on for a while.
For Implementors, creativity takes time. Put an Implementor on the spot and they’ll freeze. They just don’t do very well in brainstorming or goal-setting sessions.
But, when they do bring a new idea to the table, you’ll want to give it some serious thought. Odds are, the Implementor has been thinking about this idea for a while and it will be very well-thought-out and much more practical than most of the suggestions you’ll get from other personality types.
In addition, Implementors can sometimes get bogged down by the details they love so much. They get so focused on checking boxes that they lose sight of why those boxes exist in the first place, which can hinder their productivity and effectiveness.
Overall, Implementors tend to do their best work when they are given clear, achievable expectations. They thrive on routine and predictability, so it’s often best to let them take a back seat while other members of the team build out the vision and then ask for the Implementor’s practical insights into how to make that vision a reality.
Implementors on the Marketing Team
Implementors can be found in almost any online marketing role, but they really shine in a few specific capacities:
- Leadership: While Implementors might not seem like natural leaders, many do quite well in secondary leadership positions. When tasked with leading a small team on long-term tasks with clear expectations, Implementors bring their attention to detail and natural people skills to bear in surprisingly effective ways. The demands of working as a CMO or marketing director may be a bit overwhelming for them, but they often enjoy leading a team under the direction of a CMO who values what they bring to the table.
- Paid Search Management: Once you get past the initial build-out phase, good paid search management is all about slow refinements over time. Many Implementors love diving into numbers and sifting through data to find hidden opportunities, which makes them perfectly suited for paid search.
- Social Media Advertising: Like paid search, good social media advertising is all about the numbers, so social media management is another great job for Implementors—especially if they have good artistic instincts.
- Search Engine Optimization: Given their attention to detail and ability to connect with people, Implementors are a natural fit for the slow and steady, detail-conscious world of search engine optimization. Much of good SEO revolves around consistency at scale over time, which is where Implementors really shine.
When working with an Implementor, the key is to recognize their value and put them in a position to succeed. Most of the time, Implementors struggle when forced to work in situations that don’t play to their strengths. But, put them in a position that allows them to take their time and dive into the details and you’ll be amazed at what an Implementor can accomplish.
Working with an Implementor
Unlike some of the other marketing personality types, Implementors thrive in a collaborative environment. They’re great team players who thoroughly enjoy working with others towards a shared goal. Depending on your personality type, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:
Implementors do well when paired together. They appreciate the shared reliability, attention to detail and low-key dispositions.
One potential problem that can arise in this situation, however, is that Implementors can bog each other down. Implementors naturally focus on the details and without another personality type to keep them balanced, they can end up adding meaningless tasks to each other’s to-do lists without meaning to.
With the right direction, a group of Implementors can be incredibly effective, but if left to their own devices, they sometimes end up doing a lot of work…without actually accomplishing anything meaningful.
Initiators and Implementers have a very symbiotic relationship. Implementors love Initiator creativity and are great at executing on an Initiator’s ideas. On the flip side of things, Initiators love having someone to carry the torch once they get bored—allowing them to stay in a creative headspace.
Where things can get difficult, unfortunately, is when the Initiator doesn’t take the time to get the Implementor’s honest feedback. This can lead to a lot of hurt feelings as the Initiator jumps from idea-to-idea, endlessly adding new tasks to the Implementor’s plate. Since the Initiator isn’t feeling the weight of executing on their ideas, they can overload and exhaust the Implementor.
The good news is, most Initiators care deeply about their co-workers, so they usually respond well to feedback. A well-balanced Initiator recognizes the Implementor’s quiet efforts and asks them to counterbalance their boundless creativity. Similarly, a smart Implementor makes sure to jump in and explain the practical implications of new ideas before things get out of hand.
Working together, Initiators and Implementors do an excellent job of pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. They get far better results by working together and collaborating than they ever would on their own.
Implementors face many of the same opportunities and struggles with Drivers as they do with Initiators—just for different reasons.
Drivers and Implementors often struggle to understand one another. Drivers have a tendency to prioritize movement and achievement over everything else—including some important details that are critical to truly achieving their goals.
On the other hand, Implementors are all about the details…often to such a degree that they lose sight of the overall goal.
In a healthy relationship, these personality types counterbalance each other nicely. The Driver pushes the Implementor to stay focused on what really matters while the Implement makes sure the Driver’s vision is achieved in an effective and sustainable way.
Without good communication, though, this healthy balance can quickly fall apart. The Implementor’s prioritization of “meaningless” details is alien to the Driver and the Driver’s focus on progress above all else feels foolish and unsustainable to the Implementor.
To deal with these challenges, it’s important for Drivers to get buy-in from Implementors in advance. The better the Implementor understands and agrees with the Driver’s goal, the better they will be at focusing on the key details and processes necessary to achieve that goal.
In general, Implementors and Refiners tend to get along fairly well. They’re both focused on the nuts and bolts of marketing, and Implementor’s respect and appreciate the Refiner’s ability to improve the Implementor’s processes.
For their part, Refiners enjoy the reliability and predictability of Implementors. They love how detail-conscious Implementors are and the thoughtful insights they bring to the table.
Most of the time, the relationship challenges between Refiners and Implementors have more to do with how these personality types communicate than actual disagreements over what is being communicated.
In their pursuit of perfection, Refiners can sometimes be rather brusque or outright disdainful. After all, the important thing is to do things right—not to make other people feel good.
Unfortunately, to the socially-conscious Implementor, the Refiner’s direct, often blunt approach comes across as cruel and degrading. Rather than recognizing that the Refiner is actually trying to help, the Implementor’s feelings get hurt and they withdraw or become passive aggressive.
To prevent this, smart Refiners recognize that Implementors are actually working quite hard and doing their very best. So, rather than forcing their suggestions down the Implementor’s throat, they make gentle recommendations and express appreciation for everything the Implementor is already doing.
At the same time, Implementors faced with a difficult Refiner need to approach things with a thick skin. By taking a step back and looking at what the Refiner is trying to say—rather than how they are saying it—it often becomes clear that the Refiner’s suggestions are actually helpful and worth considering.
While Implementors might not be the quintessential marketing personality, they have a ton of value to offer. They are solid, dependable workers who understand people and have a gift for turning possibilities into realities.
To make full use of all that potential, however, an Implementor needs to be set up for success. They need to understand themselves and be managed by someone who understands their strengths and weaknesses.
If you’re an Implementor, you want to surround yourself with the other marketing personality types. This should come naturally to you and with the right people around you, you can focus on the details and execution that you love.
If you’re working with an Implementor, you’ve got a great asset at your disposal. Interact with them regularly, make them feel valued and appreciated and take full advantage of their quiet, detail-conscious productivity and remarkable insight.
Either way, the better you understand your own marketing personality type and the personality types of those around you, the better equipped you will be to deliver great results for your business!
Are you an Implementor? Do you agree with this breakdown? How will this information change how you think about your marketing approach? Leave your thoughts in the comments.